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Marram: First impressions

Today we're delighted to have our Managing Director, Robert Davidson, on the blog to share some thoughts on our latest paperback publication.

When I first read Leonie Charlton’s Marram I found myself in a familiar landscape made new, Scotland’s Outer Hebrides viewed through the poetic sensibility of a brilliant new author who, alongside a respectful, inclusive approach to the natural world, movingly relates the story of her mother’s life and their troubled relationship.

How many adults, I wonder, carry the scars of difficult relations with a parent? How to forgive when there is neither the possibility of forgetting nor any desire to do so? Is forgiveness appropriate anyway, or even possible without complete understanding?

Leonie and I will not be the only ones to find themselves struggling internally long after the parent is gone. You cannot reason with the dead.

For many travellers Scotland’s western isles are not so much a romantic Celtic fringe or a means of escape, as a real place where personal change happens, and where a physical journey can bring emotional perspective. In Marram, the language itself is transformative in a text that rewards being read out loud.

Leonie achieves a magical resolution in her closing pages. Marram is a triumph and I feel privileged to present it to readers. The internal Sandstone team thought as one, and felt increasingly confirmed as our large hardback print run disappeared from the warehouse. Even more so when Waterstones chose the paperback as their Scottish Book of the Month for April 2022. Our first title to be recognised in this way goes from strength to strength.

Leonie Charlton

Leonie Charlton